The Palo Alto High School boys’ golf team officially concluded its season on Monday when sophomore Ahmed Ali missed the cut for the state competition by one stroke at the NorCal Golf Championships in Salinas.
Ali, who shot three over par in the final competition of the season at Corral de Tierra Golf Course, competed without the rest of his teammates after the team as a whole finished in eighth place out of eight teams at the CCS Finals last Tuesday.
“I just wasn’t as sharp as I needed to be [today],” Ali said.
Despite the disappointing finish, the Vikings accomplished a lot of their initial goals. They completed an undefeated regular season by finishing 14-0 overall heading into the postseason. According to captain junior Timothy Liu, the Vikings cruised into the CCS finals with a lot of confidence, but were unable to execute.
“We played very well at Leagues and CCS Regionals, which led up to last week’s CCS championship,” Liu said. “Unfortunately, we didn’t play as well as we would have hoped during the CCS championships and we were eliminated from the competition sooner than we would have liked.”
Liu attributes the Vikings’ success to senior leadership and a consistent group of underclassmen.
“I’m still incredibly proud of how well we played as a team this year,” Liu said. “The seniors really held their ground and anchored the team and a talented group of sophomores kept the team’s engine churning all year long.”
Team captain, senior Henry Gordon, who has committed to playing golf at Occidental College, agreed with Liu, saying that he excited about where the team currently stands.
“It feels good to cap off four years confidently knowing that we are one of the top public teams in the state,” Gordon said.
Head coach Doyle Knight will look to build off of this season’s strong performance. The Vikings will be led next year by Ali, Liu and sophomore Sergi Mata, among others.
“Next year, we’re looking to keep up the overall positive season we had this year and hopefully turn the tide during CCS and win it all,” Liu said.